Marcus Aurelius Dissolves the Circus/Common One


Gone are the days
When all must fall beneath the sword
In a Circus of ‘market forces’

When rival Powers compete for vicious profit
In gladiatorial grand-standing
Dismantling safe-keeping of this City
Butchering micro-budgets lopped off from the poor   –
When such are driven to the sand
Losing hope of remission

Then the cry goes up
“Only the fittest survive” 
From exclusive island spas
Gymnasiums and health resorts of rich utilitarians

This time braced against the wall
Forced into their grinding-wheel
Of philistine fiscal combat
It is not the city’s ‘underside’
Nor its fringe of ‘disenfranchised’   –

It numbers our ‘essential’ ones
Those who heal and feed the population
Those who teach   protect   and save
Who serve for meagre wage the several Muses

Wealthily vulgar patricians
Insolent and proud have waved their tickets
To view their fruits of financial misrule
Witnessing the great divorce
Of mankind from humanity

These we now arrest and task
To defend their ‘trickle down effect’ of wealth
Having no base in historical fact
This fictional ‘trickle down effect’
Leaves the poor man open-mouthed
Exiled by the ones who should be exiled

These potentates of Power are not yet gods
And the poor are tired of waiting




One day you will recall
We who were not born to wealth
Such riches we enjoyed
Stemmed from one extra sense
The one which some called ‘common’
While you the truly poor
Made do with only five


Bernard Saint 
Illustration: Claire Palmer


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